A Simple Approach to Living With Less

Baby Steps to Minimalism

I am a frustrated minimalist. I have goals of how I want my life to be. I picture my life void of clutter and busyness. Realistically though, I’m not there yet. It is so easy for me to simply run out of time in any given day to take care of my family, stay on top of household chores, put in the hours for my job, put together some intelligent thought for this site (which is one of my favorite things to do in a day) and also make time to clean out clutter.

Like anything worth pursuing…you have to make the time if you want to see results. I’m an impatient minimalist too. I want to be sitting happily at the end of my journey to minimalism and feel like I have arrived. Secretly I would LOVE to throw everyone out of the house for a week and work like mad at throwing things out and make my minimalist heart so happy it might burst. If I do get that kind of chance, this article has some great info for epic decluttering. Since it doesn’t look like that will happen for me anytime soon, I make my forward progress by taking baby steps.

I just want to encourage all the other overwhelmed and still-striving-to-be minimalists out there that baby steps will get you where you want to be if you keep putting one foot in front of the other.

At this point in my journey to minimalism, I do not consider myself a “radical minimalist” in the traditional sense of the word. However, the change that is happening in my family IS very radical for us. Even stopping to ask the questions about what we’re buying, how we’re spending our time, and what our priorities need to be is a radical shift from how life used to be. Being convinced that this is the journey our family needs to be on is what keeps me taking those baby steps towards minimalism.

I love this quote from Joshua Becker’s book “Simplify”

“Our actions will always follow the true desire of our heart. What our heart believes and loves always determines the path of our life. We can mask our true wants for only a short while. Without a true heart change, we always return to our heart’s first love.

This truth applies to all areas of life: our energy, our time, our relationships, our spirituality, our money, and our possessions. Before any of us can simplify our homes and lives, we must be convinced that the lifestyle is worth our effort.”

If you’re able to take giant strides all at once, that is awesome! However, there are some baby steps you can take today as you journey towards the goal of having “Less” in your life.

10 Minimalist Baby Steps

  1. Shop Less –> Save More
  2. Watch TV Less –> Read or Talk More
  3. Drive Less –> Walk, Cycle, or Rest More
  4. Schedule Less –> Pursue Free Time More
  5. Argue Less –> Discuss and Respect More
  6. Worry Less –> Seek Peace More
  7. Organize Less –> Prioritize More
  8. Store Less –> Declutter More
  9. Work Less –> Unplug More
  10. Consume Less –> Give More

What actions will you take today to follow the true desire of your heart?

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Article originally published on 10/27/2010

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Comments

  1. “Secretly I would LOVE to throw everyone out of the house for a week and work like mad at throwing things out and make my minimalist heart so happy it might burst.”

    That’s really all I want for Christmas! 😉

    But being determined, little by little, a day at a time, has made a huge difference in the year or so that I’ve been on this path. I totally agree – the baby steps are all worth it.

  2. I hear you and feel the same way…I want to be “there” – wheverever that is. Realistically, though, I’ll never be a radical minimalist, so I dont’ think I’ll ever feel like I’ve arrived at my destination. I get tired of the babysteps and feeling like there is always more clutter to clear. But as with all paths of life, the journey is the important part of the process. That’s where the learning, stretching and enjoyment comes. I need to stop wishing I was already at the destination and enjoy each and every step.

    • Faith Janes says:

      I’m definitely not shooting for radical minimalism as my goal either. I’ve already been targeted as not being a real minimalist. 🙂 I’m just looking for a noticeable change for me and my family.

  3. I prefer Minimalist Freak over radical minimalist. But only because of my URL. 🙂

    I love your 10 baby steps. I need to work on them all. But specifically #9.

    Thank you.

  4. I love this list. I’ve been working on the “Schedule Less” and “Store Less” but the “Store Less” is a bit battle for me. I’m trying to let go of more stuff. I figure each weekend, if I spend an hour on this, that is my baby step. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. It is all about baby steps. Any kind of change we want to make in our life is best done in baby steps. It is like trying to eat the elephant in one or 2 bites.
    Thanks for the post! Gonna check out the forum!
    Bernice
    http://bernicewood.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/how-to-finally-eat-the-elephant/

Trackbacks

  1. […] I’m in too big of a hurry to sell things one at a time on eBay or Craigslist because I am an impatient declutterer. However, if we know something is worth enough money to warrant the trouble of listing it, then […]

  2. […] I’m in too big of a hurry to sell things one at a time on eBay or Craigslist because I am an impatient declutterer. However, if we know something is worth enough money to warrant the trouble of listing it, then […]

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